Bryan ISD’s Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a resolution calling on the Texas Legislature to repeal the A-F letter-grade school/district rating system implemented as part of House Bill 2804.
The resolution notes that, despite A-F rating systems being implemented in 16 other states, there is no evidence that these systems have helped improve the performance of students or schools. The majority of the grades assigned by the A-F rating system will be based on students’ scores on the STAAR exam, a test widely viewed as unreliable for accurately measuring student learning.
In addition, an overwhelming majority of Texans recently surveyed by the State Board of Education have said they do not want standardized test scores to serve as the primary basis for Texas’ school accountability system.
The resolution also notes the flaws of A-F systems. Such systems:
- Require a complex set of rules and calculations to combine a multitude of unrelated data points into a single, “simple” letter grade that cannot be supported with explanation.
- Fail to provide feedback that could be used for improvement. In addition, schools and districts of poverty are disproportionately targeted as C, D, or F-rated schools. This leads to a perception that the students and staff of these schools are of low quality—surely an unintended consequence of the legislation—yet a reality for schools in states that struggle under this oversimplified and unreliable means of rating success.
The resolution, which calls on legislators to repeal HB 2804, offers an alternative to the A-F rating system: developing a community-based accountability system.
Residents who are concerned about the legislation are encouraged to contact their elected officials and express their thoughts: